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Cptcourtinay

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I am new to the forum as a member but I refer to this site often, I have a Russian tortoise named Calypso Tortuga I rescued her about four years ago and she is 18. I use a different substrate than most, I use orchard hay which provides extra sustenance if needed and gives her the ability to burrow and create her own environment amd she totally loves it, she is very active and spends most of her time awake exercising and digging, she loves dogs and snuggles and getting the top of her head and chin rubbed.

KIMG0187.jpg
 

Blakem

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Welcome to the forum! You’ll find a lot of good information about Russians, as you already have! Does your tortoise get outside time a couple of times each week? They love exercise and a lot of space, hence why you say he is exercising and digging. Is the enclosure for night time only? Or is he in there 24/7?
 

Cptcourtinay

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Hmm this would make more sense because we have roommates and can't let her out often enough. Thank you
 

WolfandTort

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Feb 18, 2019
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Welcome, love the setup so awesome. Calypso looks very at home and the idea of Orchard Hay sounds really cool.
 

Cptcourtinay

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Thank you! Yeah I was happy it was approved by my vet cuz my little one loves to burrow. You are the first one who has given me positive feedback/ a compliment thank you. It's so hard and I wanna be a good rescue mama
 

WolfandTort

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Thank you! Yeah I was happy it was approved by my vet cuz my little one loves to burrow. You are the first one who has given me positive feedback/ a compliment thank you. It's so hard and I wanna be a good rescue mama
You're welcome, I just actually got my baby Russian in today I call it Thorn. So i know the feeling wanting to be good to your babies very well.
 

Cheryl Hills

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Well, I am going to burst you bubble. Hay of any kind is not good for a substrate. It will mold when it gets wet. Russians are not grass or hay eaters. They need weeds, greens ect. What are your temps? What is the humidity? Please go to our Russian tortoise section and read the care sheets posted at the top of the page. Most vets have no idea how to raise torts correctly. They are not taugh this in vet school. Also, most of the sites you find on the internet have wrong info. This is the most up to date forum. We have many experienced people here who have raised torts, and did all the leg work to ensure they are well taken care of. Welcome to the forum.
 

TechnoCheese

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Welc me to the forum! Sadly, there is a lot that needs to be changed.

-that enclosure is much, much too small. Adult Russians like that one require a minimum enclosure size of 8x4 feet.

-hay is not an adequate substrate. Russians are not grass eaters, and it molds when wet. You need a deep, damp layer or fine grade orchid bark, coco coir, or cypress mulch. If that is sand in the back, it also needs to be removed. It’s a huge impaction risk, as well as a skin, eye, nose, and cloaca irritant.

-that water and food bowl is too tall and too small. Terra cotta saucers are great for these.

Please give these a read and come back with questions-

Russian Tortoise Care Sheet https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Russian-Tortoise-Care-Sheet.80698/

Beginner Mistakes https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/
 

Yvonne G

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Hi and welcome!

Your tortoise has lived in that enclosure for four years and is used to it. Ideally we would like to see something larger, as Russians are wanderers, however, she's used to it and seems happy in there.

I would like to add just one little thing, though. Everything looks fine as is, but there's not enough "stuff" between the tortoise and the bottom of the tank. How about if you take everything out, add about 3" of dirt, mulch, whatever, then put everything back in, including the hay she likes to burrow into. This gives her more to dig into before she reaches the bottom of the tank.

You're doing a great job with Calypso. She looks good.
 

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